Seminaire: BLRI, Jonathan Harrington, Aix-en-Provence, 29 octobre 2012

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Tue Oct 2 18:51:03 UTC 2012

Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 15:47:49 +0200
From: Nadéra Bureau <nadera.bureau at>
Message-ID: <006a01cda0a4$838fc310$8aaf4930$@bureau at>

Lundi 29 octobre 2012

10h Salle de conférences B011, bât. B

5 avenue Pasteur, Aix-en-Provence (Labex BLRI)

Jonathan Harrington

(Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing, Ludwig-Maximilians
University of Munich, Germany)

Sound change and its relationship to variation in production and
categorization in perception.

In some models (Lindblom et al, 1995; Bybee, 2002), sound change is
associated with the type of synchronic reduction that occurs in
prosodically weak and semantically predictable contexts. In other models
(Ohala, 1993), sound change can be brought about through listeners’
misperception of coarticulation in speech production. The talk will draw
upon both models in order to explore whether coarticulatory
misperception is more likely in prosodically weak contexts. In order to
do so, the magnitude of trans-consonantal vowel coarticulation was
investigated in /pV1pV2l/ non-words with the pitch-accent falling either
on the first or second syllable and in which V1 = /ʊ, ʏ/ and V2 = /e,
o/. The analysis of these words produced by 20 L1-German speakers showed
that prosodic weakening caused vowel undershoot in /ʊ/ but had little
effect on V2-on-V1 coarticulation. In a perception experiment, a V1 =
/ʊ-ʏ/ continuum was synthesised and the same speakers made forced choice
judgements to the same non-words with the prosody manipulated such that
stress was perceived on V1 or on V2. Listeners compensated for V2-on-V1
coarticulation; however, the magnitude of compensation was less in the
prosodically weak than in the strong context. The general conclusion is
that segmental context influences both the dynamics of speech production
and perceptual categorization, but not always in the same way: it is
this divergence between the two which may be especially likely in
prosodically weak contexts and which may, in turn, facilitate sound


Bybee, J. (2002). Word frequency and context of use in the lexical
diffusion of phonetically conditioned sound change. Language Variation
Change, 14, 261–290.

Lindblom, B., Guion, S., Hura, S., Moon, S. J., and Willerman,
R. (1995). Is sound change adaptive? Rivista di Linguistica, 7, 5–36.

Ohala, J. J. (1993). Sound change as nature’s speech perception
experiment. Speech Communication, 13, 155–161.

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